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View More Press Releases by Hudson

Press release:

Most Workers Content with Compensation Package, Yet Many Yearn for Flexible Schedules

Issued by: Hudson

Date: May 17, 2006

NEW YORK -- Even though three out of four (72%) U.S. workers claim to be very or somewhat satisfied with their compensation, a large portion (44%) of the same sample say they would change their mix of cash and benefits if they could. These findings come from Hudson's Transforming Pay Plans: 2006 Compensation and Benefits Report. This survey, based on the responses of 10,000 workers, examines employee attitudes about traditional and non-traditional pay and benefit programs.

"The survey reveals a work force with shifting compensation demands that can be hard for employers to decipher and even harder to satisfy," stated Peg Buchenroth, managing director, compensation and benefits, Hudson Highland Group. "Though cash is still king, workers are coming to grips with paycheck-squeezing realities like higher healthcare costs and self-funded retirement programs. At the same time, they are placing much greater value on less tangible, lifestyle oriented benefits."

Given their choice of unconventional benefits, most employees would select a more flexible work schedule (33 percent) or additional family benefits (22 percent), including parental leaves and personal days, over job training (13 percent) or supplemental insurance (16 percent). "People are more interested in having a well-balanced life," added Buchenroth. "Many individuals find elements such as flex-schedules, telecommuting, on-site daycare or more personal time to have greater importance than cash. In fact, employees may forgo additional cash in order to have an improved work-life balance or better opportunities for career advancement."

Nonetheless, cash is still and always will be most important, so employers are turning to pay-for-performance strategies to compensate top talent. However, organizations are slow to implement these systems or are ineffectively communicating them to their staff. In fact, when asked about the factors influencing compensation at their company, 57 percent of workers believe tenure determines pay. Just 35 percent report that workers who do a better job earn more. Additionally, only one-quarter is eligible for earning a commission or bonus on top of their salary.

Managers have a slightly different perspective on this issue, as nearly half (48 percent) believe that their organization pays their top performers the best, opposed to only 31 percent of non-managers. "Performance-based incentives are ineffective if employees do not realize there are rewards for achieving their objectives, no matter their position," stated Robert Morgan, COO, Hudson Talent Management. "By clearly communicating these rewards, companies not only entice their work force to meet strategic goals, but top performers are also likely to stay longer."

Another aspect of compensation packages that is a major concern for employers and employees alike is health insurance. Faced with requests from one-fifth of workers wanting better benefits on top of excruciating cost pressure, companies are responding by offering consumer-driven healthcare (CDH) plans. However, these alternatives appear to be unappealing options to most workers, as only one-third have a positive impression of these programs, particularly Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). The remainder have an unfavorable opinion (34 percent) or are unsure about them (29 percent). Of those who work for an organization that offers an HSA (32 percent), only 40 percent participate.

Additional information about the Hudson compensation survey and the Transforming Pay Plans: 2006 Compensation and Benefits Report can be found at www.hudson-index.com. The survey is based on a national phone poll of 10,000 U.S. workers conducted March 20-26, 2006 and was compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm www.rasmussenreports.com). The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this number of interviews is approximately +/-1 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.

Hudson, one of the world's leading professional staffing, outsourcing and talent management solutions providers, also publishes the Hudson Employment Index(SM), a monthly measure of the U.S. work force's confidence in the employment market. The next Hudson Employment Index will be released on May 31.


Hudson delivers specialized professional staffing, outsourcing, and talent management solutions worldwide. From single placements to total solutions, the firm helps clients achieve greater organizational performance by assessing, recruiting, developing and engaging the best and brightest people for their businesses.

Hudson is a division of Hudson Highland Group, Inc. one of the world's leading professional staffing, retained executive search and talent management solutions providers. The company employs more than 3,800 professionals serving clients and candidates in more than 20 countries through its Hudson and Highland Partners businesses. More information is available at www.hudson.com.

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